The recruitment industry has faced its fair share of change over the years, something that probably isn’t going to stop any time soon. Technology continues to revamp the way we do things, and whether that’s through software or social media – we have so many things at our fingertips that allow us to create more efficient processes and remain super competitive in a overly-saturated industry.

The difficult part is, is that some of us are a bit reluctant to embrace change. But the recruitment industry has reached a point where if we aren’t openly embracing change, we’re going to fall behind in the market and we all know the effects that can have on a business. Pushing past any reluctance to shaking up the norm is the key to success for any agency, so here are some key changes and strategies to keeping up with industry changes:

  1. Recruitment marketing is key to success

We know, we’ve been saying this a lot recently. But smart recruitment marketing is vital for agencies wanting to stand out from the crowd! To really keep up with the evolving industry, you should consider hiring someone in a marketing leadership position if you don’t already have one. That way, you can create a well-rounded, successful marketing strategy that everyone in your agency can get involved in, while having someone with the right expertise overseeing it.

The difference between ‘do it yourself’ marketing and having a real expert in the business often comes down to the fact that there will be more strategies on the radar for marketing experts, as opposed to “spray and pray marketing” approaches (approaches that don’t have a defined purpose, aka, just throwing something out there and hoping for the best).

That’s not to say you can’t do it yourself, of course, or even seek the help of an external agency. If you do decide to tackle marketing your recruitment agency yourself, make sure you do your research and ask for advice where necessary! Whichever approach you decide to take, the important part is understanding that it’s an important part in allowing your agency to really thrive.

  1. Technology is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’

And we aren’t just talking about the standard technologies that all recruiters use. We’re talking the kind that add extra value to your clients and candidates to make you stand out from the crowd.

Research from Bullhorn has shown that 55% of recruitment businesses plan to up their tech budgets in 2020 – so if you’re not planning any extra tech investment, it’s likely that your competitors will be. But the same research also showed that 55% of agencies stated that their top operational challenge for 2020 is digital transformation… but digital transformation is now an essential development for agencies. And it’s no secret either, with 86% of respondents agreeing that they need to embrace this transformation in order to remain competitive.

We get it – new technology can be daunting. It’s a big shake-up of the norm and that’s something that a lot of us will put on the back burner to keep focusing on our current day-to-day. But that’s just not an option anymore. The key to successfully embracing technological change starts with identifying the main problem you want technology to fix, so that you can base your buying decisions specifically on the answer to that problem. Then, of course, it comes down to execution. Your employees will only adapt as much as you give them the ability to. Planning out a successful technology roll-out can make or break your new tech – you can read out top tips for doing so here.

  1. KPI’s and metrics are constantly evolving

Now, judging your consultants based on things like the volume of calls they make is a pretty old (and obsolete) approach. The reality is, is that as the entire recruitment industry grows and adapts, our KIP’s and metrics need to reflect these changes to help us drive efficiencies. The best measured metrics will allow us to see exactly how effective that new piece of tech we’ve implemented is, how efficient our sourcing channels are, or even measure the effectiveness of added value to our candidates and clients.

The gist of what we’re trying to say is that as your agency is changing (remember that digital transformation we were talking about?), the way you measure your success needs to change to. This should go hand in hand with the type of software you’re using too. So, stick to the usual metrics that allow you to track efficiency, the likes of time to fill or offer acceptance rates, but make sure they evolve with your agency and processes!

  1. Upskilling is becoming a necessity

Surprise, surprise. Skills shortages have yet again been identified as the top challenge for recruiters in 2020. Savvy recruiters everywhere are in agreement that reskilling candidates is the best approach to tackling the skills gap. A report from the World Economic Forum even indicates that half of the current workforce will need to be reskilled by 2022!

Skills shortages only appear to be getting worse, so it’s time that agencies look at how they can make a serious impact by assisting their candidates in reskilling. It might sound like hard work, but research shows that most of us are on the same page when it comes to how important it is.

When it comes to reskilling, you need to be a strategic partner to your clients during the process – offer a service that they’d struggle to do themselves. Start by reducing your experience expectations so that you can uncover candidates with the right soft skills to help find those worth the investment of reskilling.

The future of recruitment

There’s no denying that no matter what gets thrown at the recruitment industry, it always seems to come out thriving. “The recruitment industry is dying” we hear bloggers around the web saying – but that’s not true. A quick google search shows articles written even 10 years ago predicting the death of the recruitment industry, yet here we all are, still kicking and adapting to those scary AI and machine learning buzzwords that people once thought would be the end the profession. Recruitment is evolving, and you just have to keep up!